Before my now-hubby and I got married, we had what we would call our “free day” where we would take at least one day out of the week, each week to do something totally solo (or however we chose, with friends, etc). We are now married with our first child and the tradition continues. Each week, we both look forward to our “free day” where we don’t have to check in with each other (of course, we still do) and the day is entirely ours to mentally regroup and return to our married/family lives in a peaceful state of mind.
After having our son, I was made to feel guilty by some female family members who frowned upon my free day out. I thought about it and quickly resolved to forget about their comments. After all, I took excellent care of my child, gave quality time to my family, and continued to hold down a full-time job (like many parents do)—so if I needed a free day to myself, I think that I earned it.
Sometimes my free day is just a few hours long, where I’ll tote a book along with me to a park downtown, escaping into my thoughts and imagination without interruption. I’ll often treat myself to a nice lunch/brunch at a unique restaurant, usually off the beaten path—I’ve discovered many gems on my relaxed walks (I so enjoy) throughout the city. Sometimes, I’ll indulge in my all-time favorite free day activity, and that’s seeing an independent film—I enjoy learning about other cultures, so I’d most often choose foreign indie flicks, feeding me bits and pieces about various parts of our world. And oh, those lovely, lovely pedicures ...
This temporary time away to just focus on ourselves continues to make our family/romantic relationships stronger. Yes, we are part of a wonderful union. However, we have never forgotten who we are and what we enjoy as individuals. In the end, we return to our union as a better part of the whole, albeit happier and mentally healthier.